imageIt seems a strange book, Naked Before God, by Alva B. See, Jr., with some twenty pages dedicated to the Shroud of Turin. Here is description of the book from Amazon (Tate, 2011):

Over a thirty-three-year period, A. B. See, Jr., experienced seventeen divine revelations, which help to answer the following questions: What does God really look like? How does God feel about war? How was the stone moved from the front of the tomb where Jesus lay? Does God have additional commandments for us to follow? How can the debate between creationism and the theory of evolution be finally resolved? Does Satan really exist? Is there going to be an Apocalypse? The author believes that the answers to these questions, as found in one of the most profound books of our time, can make believers out of unbelievers, bring hope to the broken, and point a way to happiness and fulfillment in the readers’ relationships. As readers discover and follow God’s mission, they will begin their own journey from individual darkness unto His holy light.

Starting around page 150, for twenty pages or so, the Shroud is discussed in some detail. There are familiar details, details I’ve never encountered, and details that I can only think are too wildly crazy to be “divine revelations.” Here is some material supposedly from a conversation in the Spring of 1980 in the cafeteria of the Sloan Kettering Hospital in New York:

“Alva, as you may remember, my husband became a scientist.”

“Yes,” I responded.

“He is a physicist. His field, among others, is dosymmetry.”

“Dosymmetry,” I mused. “That has to do with radiology, doesn’t it?”

“Yes,” she said. “He was asked to be part of a team to go over to Turin, Italy, and examine the Shroud. He asked me to join the group as secretary.”

As I remember it, I said, “You really love Italy?”

“Yes,” she replied. “That’s why I jumped at the chance.” “That must be very exciting. Did he have an opportunity to actually handle it?”

"Oh yes,” she said. “You know, he was an atheist.”

“Really?” I said.

“A very devout one,” she laughed.

“And you are a fairly devout Episcopalian?”

“Yes, that’s correct,” she replied with a smile.

“What does all this have to do with the Shroud?” I asked.

“We were allowed to take one tiny little snippet of the Shroud and to analyze it.”

“How did he feel about the Shroud?’ I asked. “Particularly since he was an atheist?’

“He started off being extremely skeptical but then…”

“But then?” I said, asked, staring at her.

“Then he did the analysis. The snippet was radioactive!” she exclaimed as her face lit up.

“Well, I remember the story I was told and I believe it. It was about a man who sat on a rock in Canada in his backyard and it was uranium and he got irradiated. So why couldn’t the Shroud become irradiated in that way?”

“Roger told me this was the kind of radiation that only comes from an atomic blast.”

“That would lead me to a wild conclusion,” I said.

image“Exactly,” she said. Then added while staring right at me, “Several soldiers sealed the tomb with an enormous stone they put there to keep people from robbing Jesus’s body or his disciples from stealing it and then making claims that he was resurrected bodily into heaven. How do you think that giant stone was removed?”

“I guess you’re telling me that you think it was removed by a mini atomic blast!” I exclaimed with an open mouth.

Exactly,” she said.

Then there is this about how the Shroud came to be in France. Some of it seems historical:

imageAt the time of the fourth Crusade, Otho de hi Roche, Duke of Athens and Sparta, who was in command of the district of Blachernes where the Shroud was kept, received it as part of his recompense. He sent it to his father in 1204 a.d. and his father gave it to the Bishop of Besancon who placed it in the cathedral. It was exposed for veneration each year on Easter Sunday up till 1349. In that year, a fire broke out in the cathedral that caused slight damage to the Holy shroud. To save it from further damage, it was removed from the cathedral and in the confusion it was stolen and given to King Philip of France. King Philip gave it to his friend Geoffrey Count of Charney and Lord of Liry. It was natural that the Bishop of Besancon should try to recover the Shroud, but as the King of France had given it to his friend, it was impossible for him to do so. Two years later, a painted copy began to be exhibited in the Cathedral of Besancon to satis1y the devotion of those who had been accustomed to venerate the real Shroud; about the same time, probably a little earlier, Geoffrey of Liry employed a painter to paint a copy. Dom Chamart found conclusive evidence that the Shroud exhibited at Besancon after 1352 was only a painting, but a painting that had been copied from the real Shroud. He adds, “Dunod in his History of the Church of Besancon speaks of the Shroud preserved in the Cathedral of St. Etienne (Besancon) in the thirteenth century, and proceeds thus: ‘In March, i4, the church was destroyed by fire, and the box in which the Holy shroud was kept, seemingly without much formality, was lost. Some years afterwards the relic was found again by happy chance, and to make sure that it was the same as was formerly venerated in the church of St. Etienne, it was laid upon a dead man, who immediately revived. . . . Naked Before God (9781617390975): Jr. Alva B. See: Books